Ian Rosenfeld, director of London’s Rosenfeld Porcini
, said the fair seemed more sparsely attended than last year’s, when he attended for the first time, and said he had the general impression from his peers that sales were less than robust. Rafael Parra of Spanish gallery Javier López & Fer Francés
said he felt the upcoming elections may be causing some people to worry, compounded by the potential for the value of the peso to drop relative to the dollar; the currency has stabilized since the beginning of the year at around 18 pesos to one U.S. dollar, down from close to 20 in December. He said they had sold some small works by
for $15,000 to $20,000 but “nothing major.”
Teófilo Cohen of Mexico City gallery Proyectos Monclova
, on the other hand, observed an increase in international visitors this year. Cohen said he’d met collectors from Belgium, France, New York, Chicago, and Canada. But, he said, “We’re local, so we sell well.” He said works by
had all sold, with prices ranging from $2,500 for Peñalosa’s work to up to around $50,000 for de la Mora’s eye-catching arrangements of neon Post-It notes. The three works from 2017 by de la Mora had sold by Friday night.
Across the board, Mexican galleries seemed to be outselling their international peers.
Cristobal Riestra, a partner at Galería OMR
, one of Mexico City’s most established galleries, said works by Jose Dávila had been selling well both from their current show at the gallery and at the fair. Everything they put out by
, a young Guadalajara artist whose star is rising, also sold. Though Riestra, too, noted that the weekend is the clincher at Zona Maco.
“It’s sort of an endurance race,” he said, to promote Mexican artists, which his gallery and others such as Kurimanzutto and Proyectos Monclova have been doing for years. He said the work is starting to pay off: “Now they are indeed in the international eye, and people are coming to Mexico and to Guadalajara to visit their studios.”
Riestra said Mexican collectors were growing more ambitious, looking to acquire bigger works, start foundations and museums, and seeking the guidance of art advisors as they grow their collections. He noted that the Mexican economy is strong and, specifically, that the Mexican people who buy art are getting wealthier and wealthier, which, alongside the worldwide trend of putting money into art as an asset, was boosting the local market.
Even though OMR has two spaces in Mexico City, Riestra said the fair was a key time for sales, since a lot of the Mexican public and even collectors don’t always visit galleries throughout the year (collectors are busy, he noted). OMR sold Arquihaikus
(2011), and La llama vista a través un cuerno
(2018) by Rico, whose works are in the $10,000 range. The booth’s price range went up to $150,000 for a work by